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Comment by chrisa2 on Radical Honesty · 2007-09-10T11:11:53.000Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

"such rationalist values as seeking truth by teaching yourself a habit of honesty, or not wishing to deceive others because it infringes on their autonomy".

How can values be rational? To me, to take Eliezer's example, it is perfectly rational to lie in a journal, if you think you can get away with it. Of course this is something everyone else should dislike from a selfish point of view so we should certainly urge honesty from others (and do what we can to make sure that they are honest), but a rational person should aim to maximise his or her utility, and should ignore this external pressure when it comes to making their own decisions as to whether to lie.

Note that I am being slightly provocative here, since I have a conscience (whether cultural, or genetically determined it doesn't matter) so I am generally truthful even when I could lie without damage to my reputation, i.e. I usually have utility in being truthful.